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Creating New by Example Sheet Set

Creating New by Example Sheet Set

Welcome to part 3 of our deep-dive into AutoCAD Sheet Sets. In the last part, we explored creating new Sheet Sets to manage existing drawings. This is an excellent option obviously when you have drawings created outside a sheet set, yet you still want the options to manage them. This does limit the usefulness somewhat, as you are pulling together existing drawings which may or not be setup correctly to utilize the Sheet Set information to its fullest.

So, when you want to build a new Sheet Set, essentially starting the project .use the Example Sheet Set option. This uses the selected Sheet Set as the template to build the structure and default settings for the new sheet set. This does not copy any of the sheets from the existing Sheet Set, but once the new Set is created you can import layouts from any drawing.

Using the Wizard

Creating a new Sheet Set starts from the Sheet Set Manager. Using the drop-down select New Sheet Set…

AutoCAD-Sheet Set Manager-New Sheet Set

The first step of the wizard is selecting the Beginning” type. Wanting to create a new Sheet Set, not collecting existing drawings, select the An example sheet set option. Think of this as selecting the template for which the new set is based.

AutoCAD-Sheet-Set-New Example Sheet Set

The second step is selecting the desired Example Sheet Set. This can be from one of the provided Autodesk templates or by browsing and selecting any existing Sheet Set.

AutoCAD-Sheet-Set-New Sheet Set Example

The selected Example will set the default details and settings. Use the next step of the wizard to tweak and adjust the details (Name, Description, DST location) and properties. We’ll be exploring the properties in much more detail in upcoming posts.


When everything set you get one last chance to review the configuration. If satisfied, click Finish to generate your new Sheet Set.

AutoCAD Sheet Set New Confirm


Live and in Action


What’s Next? Using the Sheet Set Manager to be all it can be!




Feature Image Old Sheet Music Page by Renee

Creating New Sheet Sets (Collecting Existing Drawings)

Creating New Sheet Sets by Existing Drawings

Are you looking for project management tools within AutoCAD? Never fear, AutoCAD Sheet Sets are here! AutoCAD provides two methods for adding new Sheet Sets: Using an Example and Existing Drawings.

When you already have the drawings, there is little need to go through the rigmarole of defining the new set, building views, creating new sheets, adding the views to the sheets, etc, etc. Why would you? Especially considering you already have the sheets with the views!  However, just because you already have the drawings doesn’t mean you cannot use Sheet Sets to help manage these drawings.

The only catch is the drawings must be using Paper Space Layouts, AutoCAD will ignore drawings with no layouts.

Creating a New Sheet Set

The process starts from the Sheet Set Manager. From the main drop-down select New Sheet Set.  The first step is selecting the type. An example allows you to select an existing Sheet Set which is used as the template. When you have existing drawings and you don’t want to start from scratch, use the Existing drawings option.

AutoCAD-Sheet-Set-Manager-New Sheet Set

AutoCAD-Sheet-Set New Existing Drawings

Next, we set the Details. This includes the name, description, and location for the sheet set data (DST) file. The DST stores the details about the Sheet Set.

With the details set, select Sheet Set Properties to adjust the properties. This includes meta-data and also template type features including the View Lable blocks, Callout blocks, Model view, and other settings [We’ll be talking about these in much more depth in future articles].


Now, browse and select the folder or folders containing the drawings to add. Although all the drawings from the selected folders are added automatically you can deselect any drawing not required or wanted. The Import Options provide options to prefix the sheets and to create subsets automatically based on the folder structure.

AutoCAD-Sheet-Set New Choose Layouts


The final step is reviewing the details before creating it. If satisfied with the settings click Finish.

AutoCAD-Sheet-Set-New Confirm


So the process of creating a new Sheet Set collecting existing drawings is very quick and easy. It provides a method to manage these existing drawings without requiring any changes to the drawings. Really, is there any reason why you shouldn’t be using Sheet Sets?



Feature Image “Sheet” by Jason Pratt.

The Five Reasons You Need to be Using AutoCAD Sheet Sets!

AutoCAD Sheet Sets

Autodesk introduced AutoCAD Sheet Sets a long time ago. In fact, it has been a feature within AutoCAD for 10-plus years. Sheet Sets provide project management type tools to manage a collection of drawings. They also provide a mechanism for multiple people to work on the same set of drawings, smartly, without tripping over each other.

This is our first in a series of posts looking at Sheet Sets. So we’ll start at the beginning with the key benefits of using Sheet Sets.

Project Organization

The Sheet Set Manager provides a project level view of the drawings, views, and other content that the sheet set manages.  Further to viewing the drawings you can organize the data into Subsets. Each Subset can be configured, meaning as you add a new drawing to the section it automatically uses the correct template. A Subset (and its sheets) can be quickly published or eTransitted.

AutoCAD Sheet Sets Manager Organization

  1. Subsets act as folders to group and organize the drawings contained within the Sheet Set.
  2. There is no limit to the number of drawings each Sheet Set can contain.
  3. Tabs provide separation between the different types of data the Sheet Set contains and manages.

As a palette, the Sheet Set Manager can be resized, docked, anchored, and set to auto-hide.  Only a limited set of buttons are available, most features are accessed via the right-click menu, making it very user intuitive.

Multi-User Support

The Sheet Set Manager lists properties about each sheet (drawing) contained within the Set. This includes file properties, a preview, AND who’s currently working on the drawing. Yes, this kicks ass, you know exactly who to bug about closing the drawing and giving you access!

AutoCAD Sheet Sets Manager Sheet Properties

Even a lock icon appears on the Sheet so that you can visually see that it is currently in use.

Smarter Blocks and Callouts

More than just tying blocks and attributes to properties within the drawing, with Sheet Sets you can access Sheet Set level property information. This includes the sheet set properties, the sheet number, the view number, and the number of pages. As the Sheet Set changes, so does the associative information.

AutoCAD Sheet Sets Smart Callouts

Publish & Sharing

Use the Sheet Set Manager to quickly publish the Sheet Set, Subset, or a selection of drawings. This includes publishing to a plotter, to DWF, and to PDF. I love the AutoCAD Publish command, and this is based on it. However, this significantly streamlines the process as there is no browsing for drawings!

AutoCAD-Sheet Sets Manager Publish


Use the Sheet Set Manager to quickly archive the project. Relying on the pack-and-go features of eTransmit, Archiving collects all drawings and related information of the Sheet Set and quickly saves to the location you desire.

AutoCAD Sheet Sets Archive

See it in action!

So hopefully this wets your palate to learn more about Sheet Sets. As mentioned earlier, this is only the first in the series, so make sure to check out the others. Or are you ready fo

Or are you ready for the next one? Take a look at creating new Sheet Sets by collecting existing drawings.




Feature Image Piano Sheets by włodi

A Deep Dive into AutoCAD Sheet Sets

AutoCAD Sheet Sets

AutoCAD Sheet Sets provide a powerful tool for managing a set of related drawings. I know what you might be thinking. You don’t need that, or it doesn’t work for your business, or it is much too complicated. However, I’m here to show you this feature is for anyone and everyone, regardless of the type of drawing or the industry you are in. I also want to show you that they are not as complicated as they might appear.

So in a nutshell, if you have come looking for project management type tools straight out-of-the-box within AutoCAD to manage your drawings, you’ve come to the right place.

AutoCAD Sheet Sets Manager Sheet Properties

In this series, we’ll start by looking at why you should be using this powerful feature. Then, we’ll move into creation and setup, stopping to explore all aspects of setup so that you can get the most out of it. After looking at all the ins and outs of usage we’ll dive into managing the sheets within Autodesk Vault. Finally, we’ll take a look how the feature is utilized by other “flavours” of AutoCAD.

The Series

What, Why, When, Who, and How? (aka Why Should I Be Using Them?)

Creation by Collecting Existing Drawings

Creating New Sheet Sets

Working Within


Sheet Set Blocks

Sheet Sets with Other AutoCAD Based Products

AutoCAD Mechanical Structure with Sheet Sets… Can it be Done?

Autodesk Vault with Sheet Sets… Two Worlds Collide!



Feature Image “Sheet Music” by Delwin Steven Campbell

A Review of IrisVR Scope

IrisVR Scope

I recently wrote about IrisVR (Virtual Reality with IrisVR).  IrisVR builds virtual reality tools focused on the architecture and design-related industries. IrisVR offers two products, Scope and Prospect.

Panoramic in VR

With IrisVR Scope you quickly convert panoramic imagery into VR viewable content for smartphone devices. This includes utilizing GearVR and Google Cardboard. Generate the images using applications like V-Ray, Lumion, Autodesk A360, and others and then convert into VR with Scope. With the panorama converted, you view it virtually using your mobile device.

With the Scope Library you upload the “panos“, generate a code, and share the panos with whoever needs to see it.

The free version provides support for the Cardboard and Samsung’s GearVR. It allows you to view any pano shared with you. The Pro version ($40/month) gets you access to the Scope Library with unlimited uploads, the option to sort panos into sets, and fullscreen 360 previews.

Creating Panoramic Images

I am still very new to Virtual Reality. I learned that viewing panoramas on devices like Google Cardboard and the Samsung Gear VR requires images in particular formats, like Cubic Projection. What is Cubic Projection? It’s basically like laying out the image like orthographic views, placing the imagery along an unfolded box. The Cubic image is viewed from its center.

Revit, as an example, does not produce images with Cubic Project unless you generate a Stereo Panorama using the A360 Renderer and download it using the Stereo-Pano for GearVR option. With Panoramas generated from Revit (or other non-cubic images) you’ll need to use a combination of image editing software (like imagemagik) and a script to setup the image properly. Scope itself provides no conversion processes.

Scope supports 2×6 Stereo Cubic specifically for images generated from A360.

A360 Rendering Download Stereo for GearVR

As mentioned, a combination of Revit plus the A360 Renderer provides a quick-and-easy method to generate panoramas and stereo panoramas. With selecting either Panorama or  Stereo Panorama you set the quality, exposure, and desired width. The dialog updates to show how many cloud credits the render will cost. I threw a couple bigger Revit models at it and they all completed in under 10-minutes.

Revit Cloud Render Stereo Panoramas

Creating Panoramic Images (3DS Max)

To generate Stereo Panoramas from 3DS Max it is a bit more involved, fortunately, the IrisVR blog provides the steps to generate the stereo panorama. Panoramas, however, are generated using the Panorama Exporter. Scope supports 1×12 Stereo Cubic for images generated by V-Ray.

3DS Max Panorama Exporter

I need to spend more time with the Panorama Exporter (as a V-Ray alternative) as the images appeared very “boxy” within Scope. It was clear that the image was laid onto a box and was not smooth at all. The biggest distraction is how the images were not connected and were offset at each corner.

So the best option for generating VR content from 3DS Max is also provided in the IrisVR blog. Using the tools from V-RAY, you add a V-Ray Stereoscopic Helper. This dissipates the “poles” meaning you don’t get the seams in the corners of the box. The V-Ray demo only allows rendering of small resolution (600 x 400 or less) so viewing within Scope was not the best experience. It was obvious the image was much better rendered for virtual reality.

Uploading to the Scope Library

Uploading panos to Scope is quick and easy. From the IrisVR website you log in, switch to your Scope Library, and click Add Panorama Set. With the Set added, use the + to upload the panos.

IrisVR Scope Library

Something very important when generating images is that Scope accepts pano dimensions 12:1, 3:1, 2:1, and 1:1. With 3DS Max you can set the dimensions from the exporter but within Revit you set the Crop dimensions from the view itself. Scope provides the supported dimensions on the upload screen, a nice touch by IrisVR to make sure the information is readily available.

IrisVR Upload Panorama

There is limited information however when the pano doesn’t fit within the supported range. A simple message appears repeating the already stated supported dimensions. It would be nice to have a bit more information, even listing the current pano dimensions to make it a bit more clear on why it is failing.

IrisVR Scope Upload Panorama Issue

I did have one image that for whatever reason would not upload. So I contacted IrisVR support and within a couple hours, we had a resolution (I’m not patient enough).

Utilizing Scope

It didn’t take me very long to appreciate the power of VR. The Revit models I viewed within the Scope app looked great, in fact, I actually squinted at the sunlight coming through the windows. “Looking around” using Scope is very smooth and I did not ever encounter any fragments or jerky movements.  You are stuck however at the center of the view with no method to move.

It is also important to note that you must download the pano to your device. Scope makes this easy, even providing an option to only download on Wifi so as you are not consuming data on your cellular plan. However, it would be nice to have a view in cloud type option to eliminate this step.

Google Cardboard

To view the panos with the Scope app I used Google Cardboard. This is Google’s very affordable viewer for a “VR experience.” It is open-source, meaning Google readily provides the instructions on how to build your own. It’s called Cardboard as that’s literally what it is…. two lenses, within cardboard that you fold into a box. You stick your phone in and the supported apps provide the virtual reality content.

Final Thoughts

First off you can’t beat the price. Free for anyone you want to share with, plus easy access within the Scope app.

IrisVR brands the Google Cardboards they send out which is a brilliant strategy. With how well the models present within Scope I can definitely see situations where companies would send out the branded Cardboard to their potential customers. The customer then views the models within the free Scope app…. tough to beat this strategy!

At $40/month, the price for access to the Scope Library is very reasonable, especially when you consider you get unlimited storage. As you generate codes to share with others it is also very easy to control who has access to your data.

The upload process is quite simple and works as expected. It would be nice to have a bit more information on why images fail to load. Especially for newbies.

Viewing within Scope is also a simple process. My only complaint is that you have to download the pano. There is no view online option.


  • Uploading images to the Scope Library is easy and you have unlimited storage
  • Sharing is easy by sending a code (email, text, over the phone)
  • Very reasonably priced (free to view, $40/month to publish)


  • No option to view online, you must download the panos to your device
  • Limited feedback on why images fail to load to the library
  • No method to move within the pano.


A 30-day trial of Scope is available on the IrisVR website


*Disclaimer: IrisVR provided the Google Cardboard, but the opinion is my own. No influence from the IrisVR or payment was received for this review.


Are We Virtually There? Virtual Reality with IrisVR

Virtual Reality

Time sure does fly past fast. Almost a year ago I posed the question, Are We Virtually Ready?. If Autodesk University is any sign, Virtual Reality (VR) is here and it is quickly becoming available to anyone. IrisVR is taking a different approach by supplying tools to create interactive Virtual Reality from your architectural models almost instantly.

The Problem with Virtual Reality

Around three years ago Shane Scranton, CEO, and co-founder of IrisVR, was heavily involved with architectural modeling and visualization. He got his hands on a development Oculus Rift and fell in love.

IrisVR Shane Scranton

Shane quickly discovered that with Virtual Reality, you can communicate with your clients in a method that provides huge cost savings. By using VR you require fewer meetings and you get quicker sign off to projects and to changes. Most importantly VR highlights errors that are caught by virtually walking through the model. Errors that would be difficult to see on the 2D drawings or with the 3D models.

The problem, as Shane saw, was the process to convert the 3D model into something Virtual Reality ready was too involved and took too long. The process typically involves gaming engines that require game design skills. A Revit model typically requires 100-200 hours to transfer into Virtual Reality properly at a level providing a presentation level experience.

Shane wanted the process to be plug and play and go. With this, he started IrisVR.

IrisVR Goes Mainstream

Things just got stepped up a notch as IrisVR recently announced it has raised $8-million in Series A funding. With this and other investments, IrisVR’s total funding is $10-million. Based in New York, IrisVR is currently 15-employees. Shane joked during our interview that he thought “VR would be easier” hence the reason most of the employees are engineers.

IrisVR Virtual Reality Headsets

Even though the products just moved out of the initial beta phase, IrisVR has over 22,000 sign-ups so far for their Prospect product (more on this product in a bit).

A quote from the funding release:

“There are real, industry-changing applications for this technology and IrisVR is building one of them,” Shane said. “Simply put, we’re reinventing the canvas on which a vast, global industry communicates. For design and construction professionals, the vision is the core of every project. IrisVR brings that vision to life.”

So what does IrisVR do? They build VR tools focused on the architecture and design-related industries. Their goal is to provide VR ready content from your models in 30-60 seconds. The difference between their products and others is they are after the quick-and-dirty, as in get the model pushed into VR instantly and start collaborating interactively. If you are after the high-level presentation continue using others which involves much more of a time commitment to build the presentation VR.

See here for more details:

The plan for 2017 is to continue development with a focus on “effective communication.

So what makes IrisVR’s solution different? Instant VR with a focus on collaboration. Plus their base products are free to use!

The Products

IrisVR offers two products: IrisVR Prospect and IrisVR Scope. They are available in free and paid for versions. Prospect is intended to take your 3D models and convert them into VR viewables for devices like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Scope is intended to convert panoramic images into a VR viewable for smartphone devices like the GearVR and Google Cardboard.

IrisVR Immersive Review

Immersive review courtesy of the IrisVR Blog

Iris Scope

For IrisVR Scope you generate the panorama in V-Ray, OctaneRender, Lumion, Autodesk A360, Corona Renderer, and others (and more are coming) and then convert into for VR with Scope. With the panorama converted, you view it virtually using your mobile device.

With the Scope Library you upload the “panos“, generate a code, and share the panos with whoever needs to see it.

The free version provides support for the Cardboard and Samsung’s GearVR. It allows you to view any pano shared with you. The Pro version ($40/month) gets you access to the Scope Library with unlimited uploads, the option to sort panos into sets, and fullscreen 360 previews.

Iris Prospect

Prospect offers support for Revit, Rhino, Sketchup, and OBJ models. There really is no limit on the model size as the product can handle complex assemblies.  There is no limit on the number of files you can process, even with the free Basic version.

Within the IrisVR Prospect environment, you get to experience life-like presentations with complex details. The conversion from model to VR is “in less time than it takes to print.

With the Pro ($200/month) the tool set is extended. Using the built-in tools you toggle between different design options by switching layers off and on. The provided annotation features create markups and callouts in 3D. Prospect Pro also provides the means to capture screenshots from within the VR so that you can review outside of the VR.

If you are using the Pro version you can send and receive VR via their IVZ format. The resultant file is small enough to send via email, which at the moment is the mechanism most IrisVR users are using to share with others.

Finally, the Pro version includes daylight system tools so that you can adjust the sun and lighting position real-time.

What do I Need to Start?

The IrisVR website provides a lot of information, not just on their products, but for getting started with Virtual Reality.  First place to start?…. Hardware.

You’ll need a computer. Consider the “VR Ready” hardware offered by Lenovo.

IrisVR recommends getting a powerful graphics card at the recommended minimum. They suggest at a minimum the NVIDIA Geforce GTX 980 or something equivalent.  You’ll also need an Oculus Rift or an HTC Vive. Which one? The Rift is intended for sit-down experiences while the strength of the HTC Vive is its ability for room-scale virtual reality.

For a complete run-down of requirements check out their blog here.

What’s Next?

A Google Cardboard is on its way to me. I’m also on the hunt for a Samsung GearVR. Once I get my hands on one of these devices, I’ll be reviewing Scope.  I’m looking quite forward to it.

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